THR Names Music's 35 Top Hitmakers
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
“The design element in music is important,” says hip-hop and R&B specialist Jeff Bhasker, “but it’s important to have heart and soul, too, to bring both together. Tapping in to an artist, collaborating, getting a good vocal, I focus on that more than anything.” Bhasker’s career got fast-tracked in 2008, when Kanye West hired the talented but little-tested Berklee grad as his music director, and he’s been intimately involved in Yeezy’s various projects ever since.
Working with West catapulted the 28-year-old floppy-haired Socorro, N.M., native into collaborations with the likes of Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Drake and Beyonce, but that run of hits was merely a warm-up for a spectacular 2012, as Bhasker stepped outside his comfort zone to produce fun.’s Some Nights. The yield: an RIAA-certified platinum album, collective sales of more than 10 million tracks according to NielsenSoundScan (among them: radio smash “We Are Young”), and five Grammy nominations for Bhasker, including one for Producer of the Year. “I never thought that I’d be able to find my niche and become successful at it and be in the music industry, quote-unquote, but still have the confidence to express myself on my own terms,” says Bhasker. “I have to credit Kanye, who’s the perfect example of all that. I’ve tried to walk in his shoes.”Click here to read THR's complete Pop's Top 35 Hitmakers list.